Hepatitis C is a viral infection of the liver and can be transmitted through blood to blood contact, such as sharing needles or through condomless sex. New treatments are now available so most people with hepatitis C can be cured. Without treatment, people with hepatitis C can develop serious liver disease.

About 80% of people infected with hepatitis C develop chronic (long-lasting) infection. Without treatment, some people eventually develop liver failure or cancer of the liver. About 20% of people infected with hepatitis C virus recover or ‘clear’ the infection without specific treatment.

The latest medicines for hepatitis C are called direct acting antivirals (DAAs) and are highly effective with a cure rate of over 90%, with few side effects, are taken in tablet form (without the need for injections in most cases) and need to be taken for only 12 weeks for most people, or for 24 weeks in some instances.

How far back in time should you trace your previous partners? 6 months prior to onset of acute symptoms.

(Note: this is a general guide only, consult your doctor for any other considerations that are appropriate for your own particular circumstances.)

Further Information

NSW Health